Will Taking a Probiotic Help With Yeast Infections?
The beast known as yeast. It is a common problem for many women. When left unchecked in the body, yeast can turn into an unpleasant fungal infection that causes vaginal discharge and irritation (not to mention intense itching). Over-the-counter medications and prescription medications for yeast infections are designed to treat the infection but come with their own unpleasant side effects. Probiotics are ideal for helping to prevent nasty yeast infections from even getting started.
What causes yeast infections?
To understand why probiotics work well to combat yeast infections, it is helpful to first understand what causes the yeast to run rampant in your body. Candida is a naturally occurring microorganism in the vagina. Another bacteria, Lactobacillus, help keep Candida’s growth in check. When our vaginal environment becomes unbalanced, it can lead to an overgrowth in yeast.
There are several factors that can contribute to yeast infections. They include:
- Antibiotics that decrease Lactobacillus levels
- Pregnancy or other hormonal imbalances
- Diabetes that is uncontrolled
- A weak immune system
- Poor eating habits that include an abundance of sugary items
- Excessive levels of stress
Which probiotics are best for treating yeast infection?
Probiotics are especially helpful in treating yeast infections by preventing them from ever starting in the first place. Restoring the vagina’s natural balance is one of the most effective ways of ridding yourself of frequent or recurrent yeast infections.
Most probiotics offer some degree of protection. However, more than three decades of research supports the use of the following two strains of probiotics as the most effective against controlling Candida infections in women.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1®
- Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®
These two Lactobacillus strains are shown to colonize in the vaginal tract instead of the intestines, which makes them more effective in discouraging yeast overgrowth than other probiotics. If you are prone to yeast infections, consider adding a supplement with one of these two strains to your daily care regimen for a natural alternative to yeast infection treatments.
How long does it take for probiotics to work for a yeast infection?
The short answer to this question is it depends. If you are taking a high-quality, multi-strain probiotic like the two recommended above, initial improvements should occur within one to two weeks. Some people who are sensitive to probiotics may notice some changes within a few days. It can take between four and eight weeks to realize the full benefits of taking a daily probiotic.
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